There are more than ten, we’re sure, but these are the topmost laughs that just about anyone can recognize with their eyes closed. So here, for grins and giggles, are ten that stand out above the rest.
10. The Chortle: Barney
“Hello again, to all my friends!”
Okay, we’re all adults and we all cringe at the sight of the big purple dinosaur. But there’s no denying that the mesozoic monster has a deep throated chuckle that sends parents everywhere into tics.
9. The Snort: Chrissy Snow
Suzanne Somers’ knocked on our door, and we were happy to let her in. She was silly, naive — and she made a snort through her nose strangely sexy. Three’s Company lives forever in syndication partly because of Chrissy Snow’s irrepressible character.
8. The Titter: Betty Rubble
Living next door to the modern stone-aged family, the Rubbles were the best friends a caveman could have. And while Barney’s belly-laugh (supplied by the incomparable Mel Blanc) probably deserves a place on this list, it was Wilma’s partner-in-crime, Betty (Bea Benaderet) who takes the honors with her girlish giggle.
7. The Cackle: Roseanne
Brash and abrasive — and one hell of a not-a-singer. And while her talk show may have been about as successful as a hooker in Amish country, for several glorious seasons (minus one), Roseanne was riding a ratings high, and each season’s theme song ended with that familiar obnoxious cackle.
6. The Chuckle: Scooby-Doo
Ruh-roh, Shraggy! He might be a scaredy-pup at times, but whenever he and his best bud shared a scooby-snack or found out that the ghost chasing them was just a sheet in the wind, you could always count on Scooby to laugh at his own silliness. Scooby’s laugh is just one reason why he’s such a Great Dane.
5. The Snicker: The Duck Hunt Dog
Aim… Fire… Dammit, you missed all three. And up comes that darned dog to mock your inaccuracy. This Nintendo game was pretty much an excuse to get the Nintendo Zapper for your NES game system, but be honest — when you missed the ducks, didn’t you just want to unload your weapon on that dog? Hey, I don’t see him bringing back any ducks, do you?
4. The Snigger: Muttley
Dick Dastardly’s Wacky Races co-pilot, Muttley, has to appear near the top of our list. His raspy wheeze, courtesy of cartoon voice Don Messick, might have been a good indication that he should, perhaps, lay off the nicotine, but whenever one of Dastardly’s plans backfired, you could always count on Muttley to mock him. Maybe Muttley’s related to that damned Duck Hunt dog.
3. The Cachinnation: Woody Woodpecker
Hahaha-HAH-ha! Older readers will likely think that the #3 position is far too low for Walter Lantz’s red-headed troublemaker, and they’re point is well-taken. Whether playing the put-upon hero or the needling thorn in the side, Woody’s nutty, rat-a-tat laugh is one for the ages.
2. The Schadenfreude: Nelson Muntz
Skin your knee? Break your arm? Get squirted in the eyes with blinding acid? No injury is too big or too small that The Simpsons Nelson Muntz can’t make it feel even worse with a well-placed “HA-ha!” Taking pleasure in the suffering of others is what Nelson is all about — and if you’re not suffering, he can do something about that as well.
1. The Giggle: Frank Gorshin
Riddle me this: Who’s number two among Batman villains, but number one on our list? Yes, Frank Gorshin comes out on top for his irrepressible insane giggle. And while the Batman series’ Joker could have been a close second, Cesar Romero’s refusal to shave his mustache to play the crown prince of crime indicated he really wasn’t that into the part. But with Frank Gorshin, you were left with the lingering impression… maybe he really is out of his mind? Thanks for the memories, Frank!